The Importance of Mental Health Awareness


Definition of well-being includes mental health. Mental health problems affect many people in the United States.

United States spends a lot of money to address mental health issues. However, there is less access to mental health care among the patients who have mental conditions. Cost is the main barrier that hinders access to proper mental health care.

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Furthermore, attitudes and obstacles such as shortage of care providers limit access to mental health care. This paper provides a discussion on mental health care in the United States. Part of the discussion provides background information on the state mental health care in the country. Additionally, the paper offers the student’s perspective on the issue and the recommendations that will increase access to mental health care. Finally, the paper explains how the nurse code of ethics and legal standards are applied in the provision of mental health care.

Keywords: mental health, mental health issues, nurses, care providers, pharmacological drugs, treatment, medical insurance as well as the cost of healthcare.


Health comprises physical, emotional, social, and mental wellbeing. Mental health problems affect many people in the United States. One out of every five adults in the United States has mental health issues. The mental health problems that affect many citizens of the United States include anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorders, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, autism, eating disorders as well as substance abuse disorders among others. However, access to mental health care in the United States is poor with only a small percentage of patients accessing proper mental health care. The intended audience for this paper includes mental health patients in the United States and health care providers The primary focus of this paper is to provide a description of mental health care in the United States.


The government of the United States has invested a significant amount of money in the management of mental health problems. To illustrate this, more funds have set aside to purchase pharmacologic drugs that treat mental disorders. However, access to mental health services in the country is lower when compared to other health services (Acharya et al., 2017). Many individuals with mental health issues claim cost as the main barrier that hinders access to adequate treatment of mental health issues.

Mental health issues affect the quality of life of people. Furthermore, mental health problems are associated with early cases of death (Bitsko, 2016). Many individuals suffering from conditions such as bipolar disorder in the United States die prematurely because they miss consistent management of their conditions.

There is a shortage of healthcare providers in the United States who offer mental health services (Roehrig, 2016). Studies have shown that some regions have very few mental health care providers with many facilities having a ratio of six patients to one nurse.

Access to mental health services in the United States depends on the sick individual ability to pay for the services. However, insurance companies provide coverage to patients with mental health problems (Roehrig, 2016). Insurance services enable patients to receive services from psychiatrists or counselors. Despite numerous changes made by the government, still, some mentally ill patients cannot access mental health treatment including insurance services. The mental health care delivered by healthcare providers is associated with delayed access to treatment in some situations. Delayed access to mental health services is due to a shortage of mental health care providers. The stigmatization of individuals with mental health issues has resulted in some of these patients choosing not to seek psychiatric health care especially patients from disadvantaged groups (Visser et al., 2014). The community tends to associate mental illness with violence.

Student Perspective on the Issue

Mental health problems affect the quality of life of not only the patients but also their families and the community at large. I also believe that appropriate measures should be taken to increase access to mental health services for individuals with mental health problems in the United States. There a significant percentage of patients that lack access to proper mental health care. I would recommend that the government and other concerned individuals make an early investment that will ensure the protection of children and their families (Bitsko, 2016). To be specific, abandoned or abused children have a high likelihood of developing mental problems. Thus, protecting these kids include providing a conducive environment to these children as they grow. Furthermore, parents should give support to their children both financial or material support. Studies have shown that protecting children is beneficial to the country as these individuals would be shaped to responsible people instead of engaging in criminal acts due to mental health issues.

Punishment is associated with enhanced chances of acquiring mental health issues among the people (Olfson, Blanco & Marcus, 2016). For instance, many prisoners in the United States suffer from mental disorders due to the punishment they receive in jail. Additionally, these prisoners receive delayed access to treatment or may miss out entirely due to confinement. Thus, their symptoms become worse due to a lack of treatment. I would recommend that the government and the community value treatment more than punishment for offenders (Acharya et al., 2017). Efforts should be put in place to ensure the delivery of mental health services to disadvantaged people like prisoners.

Many mental health patients fail to receive mental health care because these services are unaffordable to them. I would recommend that the healthcare facilities and the government reduce the cost needed to access mental health care to improve access to these services. Moreover, affordable insurance services will enhance reach to mental health care for mentally ill patients in the United States (Bitsko, 2016). Eliminating other barriers such as language, transportation barrier ensures increased access to mental health care for patients. There is also a need to further research in mental health. Thus there is a need to encourage and provide sufficient finances to fund future research on mental health care.

Legal Standards and Nurse Code of Ethics Provisions as they apply to Mental Healthcare in the United States

There are several legal measures put in place by the government of the United States that aim to improve mental health care in the country. For instance, there are mental parity laws that ensure insurance companies also cover mental health. In the past, individuals would cover themselves against other health issues but failed to include mental health. Thus, the mental health parity laws ensure that medical companies cover an individual against mental health problems in addition to other health needs.

The affordable care act since its introduction has improved access to healthcare. Furthermore, the affordable health care act also addresses mental health issues (Visser et al., 2014). For instance, under the bill, citizens of the United States can receive preventive services such as screening against disorders such as autism and depression at no cost at all. Additionally, the affordable care act has increased insurance coverage among mentally ill patients in the United States.

Nurses and other health care providers who attend to mentally ill patients are required to adhere to ethical principles while providing care to these patients. For instance, healthcare providers are required to respect the human rights of these patients and seek consent from them before performing any intervention. The privacy of these patients is, and care providers are required to keep data of these patients confidential. Furthermore, nurses are required to avoid restraining these patients for example through seclusion. Healthcare providers are also mandated to ensure they ensure justice while providing care for mentally ill patients (Olfson, Blanco & Marcus, 2016). Healthcare providers have the responsibility of ensuring the healthcare they provide to individuals with mental illness is beneficial to them and imposes no injury to them.


Mental health is an essential factor in the definition of health. The government of the United States spends a lot of money on mental health care. However, access to mental health care is low in the country. Barriers such as cost, shortage of care providers, and stigmatization contribute to reduced access to mental health care. Students’ perspectives include recommendations include: investing in the protection of children against mental health problems, reducing the cost of care, and eliminating other barriers such as language. Furthermore, future research on mental health and providing treatment rather than punishment are essential in enhancing the mental health of individuals.


  1. Acharya, B., Maru, D., Schwarz, R., Citrin, D., Tenpa, J., Hirachan, S., … & Kohrt, B. (2017). Partnerships in mental healthcare service delivery in low-resource settings: developing an innovative network in rural Nepal. Globalization and health, 13(1), 2, doi: 10.1186/s12992-016-0226-0
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  3. Olfson, M., Blanco, C., & Marcus, S. C. (2016). Treatment of adult depression in the United States. JAMA internal medicine, 176(10), 1482-1491, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5057.
  4. Roehrig, C. (2016). Mental disorders top the list of the most costly conditions in the United States: $201 billion. Health Affairs, 35(6), 1130-1135, doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1659..
  5. Visser, S. N., Danielson, M. L., Bitsko, R. H., Holbrook, J. R., Kogan, M. D., Ghandour, R. M., … & Blumberg, S. J. (2014). Trends in the parent-report of health care provider-diagnosed and medicated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: United States, 2003–2011. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(1), 34-46, DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.09.001.

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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness. (2021, Mar 09). Retrieved from

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